Losing is always difficult.
Losing at home, though, always seems to sting a bit more.
Losing in front of a sprinkling of fans on a road trip always seems like less of a mental train than losing on front of a stadium full of friends, family, neighbors and alums.
At times, though, several Wyoming high school football teams have struggled to win at the very place where winning is most common.
Two programs — Lander and Newcastle — put together streaks of 18 consecutive home losses, the longest in state history.
Lander’s streak ran from 1967-71. In between beating Lovell 20-0 on Sept. 29, 1967, and beating Green River 12-7 on Oct. 22, 1971, Lander actually won four games, but all four of those victories came on the road. Lander’s home losing streak ended against Green River in the Tigers’ final home game of the 1971 season, giving the squad its only victory of the 1971 season. In 1972, the Tigers went 8-1, narrowly missing a berth in the Class AA championship game.
Newcastle, meanwhile, lost 18 straight home games from 1999 to 2004. The victory that broke the streak — a 34-20 victory over Wheatland on Sept. 24, 2004 — was Newcastle’s only victory in the span of four seasons, 2002-05. However, in 2006, the Dogies turned it around to finish second in the 3A East Conference and host a playoff game.
Even so, the longest home streak without a victory belongs to Saratoga, which went 19 games (18 losses and one tie) between 1965 and 1970 without a home victory. The Panthers ended that streak in style, topping the Rawlins JV 54-0 on Sept. 19, 1970. By 1974, the Panthers had put together an undefeated season.
Those quick turnarounds should give this year’s team in Rawlins some hope.
The Outlaws’ current 15-game home losing streak is the longest active such streak in Wyoming. Rawlins’ last home win came on Sept. 5, 2008, a 7-3 victory over Mountain View.
Here is a short rundown of the state’s longest all-time and current home losing streaks:
Longest home losing streaks
Lander, 18 games, 1967-71
Newcastle, 18 games, 1999-2004
Glendo, 16 games, 1975-79
Hulett, 16 games, 1975-78
Rawlins, 16 games, 1992-95
Shoshoni, 16 games, 1971-75
Rawlins, 15 games, since 2008
Tongue River, 11 games, since 2008 (two neutral-site losses not counted; no 2011 season)
Longest home non-losing streaks (includes ties)
Saratoga, 0-18-1 (19 games), 1965-70
Shoshoni, 0-17-1 (18 games), 1971-75
Basin, 0-16-1 (17 games), 1948-52
Coming tomorrow: The longest road winning streaks.